Fool-Proof Tips for College Searching

This summer, our incoming freshmen have been registering for classes and attending Orientation. Isn't it crazy to think that could be you this time next year? We have some fool-proof tips to help you figure out the best way to college search:

1. Plan a road trip with family this summer and fall to tour colleges. While you're planning, go ahead and put Birmingham on your list. We're ready<http://samford.edu/visit> for you!

2. Make a list of pros and cons when it comes to college. Public vs. private? Big vs. perfect-size? Close to home or far away?

3. Join upcoming seniors on Zeemee and connect. Create a Zeemee<http://zeemee.com/> account and feel free to select Samford to connect with. It's no commitment - just a helpful tool!

4. Did you know you can apply to multiple schools by filling out ONE application? Apply using the Common Application<http://commonapp.org/> and don't forget to add Samford to your list of schools! For more info, visit www.samford.edu/apply<http://www.samford.edu/apply>.

Our application opens on August 1st. Do not miss out on applying early and taking the first step towards your future! 

3 Things to Explore in Any College City

When you visit any college, make it the best visit possible. Here are our top three things to explore in any college city:

1. Check out the food!
Any college will have a food court, but not many have food scenes that compare to Birmingham. Visit meetmagiccity.com<http://meetmagiccity.com/?utm_source=Slate&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Junior%20Inquiry&utm_content=JR%20%2B%20SO%20News%20%235> to see our best recommendations.

2. Check out the landscape!
Cities vary in landscape - some are hilly and classic, some are flat and modern. Spend some time driving around town to get your bearings (and even find a beautiful overlook!). We like to call Birmingham a mixture between urban and elegant.

3. Check out the history!
Birmingham is rich with history and has the museums<http://www.birminghamal.gov/play/arts-museums/?utm_source=Slate&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Junior%20Inquiry&utm_content=JR%20%2B%20SO%20News%20%235> and history buildings to prove it. Spend some time understanding how the city came to be and what made it the city it is today.

You can also visit meetmagiccity.com to virtually explore all the different sides of Birmingham. Downtown Birmingham is a 10-minute drive from Samford. You will never run out of things to do, places to see or locations to explore. 

We can't wait for you to visit Samford and see this great city in person! 

Life With a Roommate

BRIDGES HARRISON

My alarm goes off at 7:00 A.M. I quickly hit the snooze button on my phone, careful not to wake my roommate. I roll out of bed and navigate past the furniture and piles of clothes in my room on my way to the bathroom, while trying to wake up at the same time. I quietly get ready for the day all the while making sure my roommate doesn’t wake up. This is my morning routine. This is what living with my roommate is like.

            So I might have been a little overdramatic... Living with a roommate isn’t exactly something straight out of Mission Impossible like I just described it to be. At first, it may seem weird to live with someone that you really don’t know that well. However, it can be one of the most fun things about college. Don’t worry, you won’t have to live with a completely random stranger if you don’t want to. I picked my roommate out myself! The summer before my first semester at Samford, I was in a huge incoming freshman group message. Through this group, I found myself talking to my current roommate. We texted for a while, met up in Birmingham before school started, and then decided that we should room together.

            Living with another person is not what I was used to. My roommate and I quickly learned that sharing and being respectful of our space and privacy would help our relationship. Communication is very important when it comes to living together. Making sure we’re stocked up on food, cleaning supplies, and just checking up on each other are simple ways to have a great roommate relationship.  After all, if you’re living in the same room together, you might as well be involved in the each other's life, am I right? It may sound like the two of us don’t get along from the way that last sentence sounded, but that’s not the case at all. Harrison and I are really good friends, and it's simply because we talk, hang out, and look out for each other. In my opinion, when it comes to rooming with someone, you tend to get out what you put into the relationship. So, from the first day that you meet your roommate next fall, I highly recommend hanging out, talking with them and building a lasting friendship. You can thank me later.

Step Sing 2017

RYAN BURZUMATO

From the moment I stepped onto campus in August, whispers of Step Sing had already begun.  Even though practices did not start until the second semester, everyone was already curious and excited to hear when group sign ups would be. I had only watched Step Sing on the live stream, so I couldn’t understand the excitement it brought to campus. However, when I went to my first Step Sing practice at the beginning of the spring semester, I was quickly able to understand what made Step Sing so special. If you are not familiar with Step Sing, it is one of Samford’s oldest and most beloved traditions. It takes place in mid February, and students of all ages work tirelessly for three weeks to put on a spectacular production of singing and dancing. After one week of practicing, you begin tech rehearsals and get to practice on the big stage. Although it seems impossible, excitement levels rise even higher. The best part about the “Step Sing Season” is not competing or being on stage in front of hundreds of people. The best part of Step Sing is the deep and genuine relationships that you develop with the other members in your group. The friends I have made allowed for countless connections to be made across campus. I now understand why Step Sing is such a big deal to so many students. It is not just about the dancing and singing, it is about the genuine friendships that are developed through these exhilarating first weeks of the spring semester. We all hope you will come to experience the magic for yourself in the future! Happy Step Sing! 

Janterm Chronicles- Costa Rica

TOMI LYEW

Over my Janterm, I was given the opportunity to go to Costa Rica with the Samford cheer and dance team. It was so awesome to be able to serve alongside my teammates all week in such a beautiful country, and I wouldn’t have wanted to spend my Janterm any other way. While in Costa Rica, we were able to sightsee as well as serve, and it was an experience I will never forget. It was my sixth missions trip to Costa Rica, but I honestly never get tired of it because I love being in the country, and I love being able to serve the people of Costa Rica (aka the ticos!!).

Our trip started out sightseeing, and we got to go to the beach where had a short devotional and talked about what our week would look like. We then went zip lining down a mountain and ended the day with a crocodile river tour.

On our second day, we worked in a community and hosted a “block party” for the kids in the neighborhood, which was similar to a VBS. We did face painting and handed out balloons, chalk and jump ropes. We also performed skits and told Bible stories. Another cool thing we did was perform the Samford fight song for all the kids. They absolutely loved it! It was such a cool experience to represent Samford.

For the next two days, we helped build an orphanage across the road from the mission compound, where we were staying, by sanding and painting the walls. We were also able to pray over the homes for the orphans who will eventually live there.

Not only were we able to help with the construction of a new orphanage, but we were also able to help in an active orphanage and daycare called the Abraham Project. Throughout the day, we helped with classes and got to do arts and crafts with the kids in the daycare. At night, we helped take care of the orphans in their homes so that the house parents could have a date night. One of the cool things about the Abraham Project was that they want the orphans to see what a healthy, Christian marriage looks like because so many had been taken out of broken families, so instead of the kids being raised by women, they are raised by a Christian couple. It was great to be able to help out the parents in any way we could! 

Another cool experience in Costa Rica was being able to attend a church service. It was awesome experiencing how a different culture worships God. One of my favorite things that happened in Costa Rica was attending that church service because at one point, they started singing the hymn “How Great Thou Art” in Spanish, and it was so cool being able to sing the song in two different languages worshipping the same, powerful God.

I am so thankful that I got to travel over JanTerm and serve. I would highly recommend it to anyone in the future!

Samford Homecoming Week

MICHAL GRAVES 

Hey guys and gals! Last week was Homecoming at Samford, and it was a blast! The past week was full of things to do where the campus could come together in celebration of not only our Homecoming, but also the school’s 175th anniversary. Talk about a two for one bonus!

In Ben Brown Plaza, there were a variety of delicious, must grab finger foods each day. There were meatballs, chicken wings, chips, corndogs, and even root beer floats! They were scrumptious. Also, there were Homecoming boards being painted by various organizations. These large plywood boards all were assigned to an organization and were painted to portray Samford homecoming and the 175th anniversary. They were very creative and Samford Crew, our rowing team, won first place!

The events continued into the nights with the Bulldog Bash and the 175th Anniversary Gala. At the Bulldog Bash different Samford sports teams come out to Ben Brown and thanked the students for their support. There is food, music and performances by the Samford cheerleaders and dancers and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. The 175th Anniversary Gala was held on Friday night in the Pete Hanna Center. The gym was completely transformed into an elegant black tie affair with food stations rotating by the hour and live music from an amazing band. It was so refreshing seeing everyone dressed in their best and ready to dance the night way celebrating Samford and Homecoming.

The week wrapped up with the packed homecoming game against the Mercer Bears. The game was a little chilly, but the goose bumps were well worth the nail biting win the Bulldogs clinched over the Bears. It was amazing to hear the fans roar in triumph of a score, rally behind our defense and support the boys until the last second of the clock.

Homecoming week truly opened my eyes to the caring and committed community at Samford. So many families and alumni came back, not only to join in the festivities, but also to help by contributing to further the future success of Samford. This week was by far one of the best I’ve had at Samford so far. The experience not only reassured me that Samford was the right choice for me, but it also added on to my joyous Samford story.

Greek Life at Samford

MARY MCCAIN POTTER

As I’m sitting in my sorority house’s chapter room among so many bright and smiling friends, I cannot even begin to explain how blessed I feel to be writing to you about an organization that has brought me exponential joy in the last month and a half.  Greek life at Samford is truly a unique experience, and it is one unlike any I’ve heard of or had myself. The Samford Greek experience kicks off shortly after Labor Day with rush. The thought might make some of your stomachs turn, just as mine did back in September. However, recruitment at Samford is just as unique as other parts of Greek life here. By that, I mean that rush didn’t feel like frantic rushing from house to house as the word “rush” implies. Instead, it is a time spent with girls that are caring, loving and pumped to get to know YOU. I genuinely enjoyed sitting down and getting to know girls in each sorority, and I had great conversations in each house. When I walked out of each house after rush I knew that I had just made friendships that would last much longer than just that week, regardless of what house I ran to on Bid Day. I felt and still feel welcomed by the friends I love dearly in each sorority. That is the Greek unity that makes the Samford Greek experience so unique. At Samford, you aren’t defined by your Greek affiliation (or even lack thereof, because we love our independents!) You’re loved for who you are, and I think that’s one of the most exciting things ever.

Recruitment ends with Bid Day, where each person receiving a bid is welcomed into their new family. It is hundreds of screaming girls sprinting full speed out of Reid Chapel to find their sorority on the quad, and it’s probably more exciting than Christmas morning. No joke. After I opened my bid card, I frantically pushed my way out of Reid and jumped into the arms of the first girl in my sorority that I saw, more excited than I have ever been. The rest of the day was consumed by taking pictures with my new family, eating pizza at a great restaurant and celebrating the beginning of a new journey.

Beyond Bid Day, there are bid bashes, socials, philanthropy fundraisers and opportunities for leadership in Greek organizations. After Bid Day, each sorority kicks off their social events with a Bid Bash, a themed dance party to celebrate the new pledge class. This was so fun, and it was a great way to begin my Greek social experience while also picking up some new dance moves. (Shout-out to Sally and Mattie for showing me how it’s done.) Other social events my sorority does include a winter formal, mixers with fraternities, Greek trick-or-treat, tailgates at football games, a low country boil, a spring semi-formal and so many more. Alongside social events, each Greek organization has a philanthropy, which is a cause or group that they support through service. My sorority’s philanthropy is Make-A-Wishâ, an organization that grants wishes to children with terminal illnesses. It has been absolutely amazing to serve this cause alongside girls who are truly passionate about it. We recently put on our first annual carnival to raise money for Make-A-Wishâ Alabama. It was a great time spent jamming to live music and eating carnival food to our heart’s content with people in the Birmingham and Samford communities. Philanthropy reminds us that Greek life isn’t just about social events. It’s about giving back to the communities that we love because they have made us who we are.

Greek life at Samford also allows those who participate in it the opportunity to hold a leadership position that will prepare them for leadership in other areas of life, such as church, clubs or the job field. College is largely about discovering your passions, and leadership in a Greek organization promises the discovery of new passions, as well as opportunities to act on preexisting ones. Whether you love people young or old, community service, event planning, advertising, design, handling money, management of facilities, or ensuring rules are followed, there is a leadership position for you. Each Greek organization has a group of executives, committee heads, and committee members, so the possibilities to get involved in leading something of your interest are absolutely endless. When you join a Greek organization at Samford, you become part of a family, find ways to better the communities around you, and engage in leadership. Most importantly, you get to participate in the work of a large, interconnected group of amazing individuals who love you, Samford and the world we live in.

Spiritual Life at Samford

BRIDGES HARRISON

Hi, everyone! This is my first post for the freshman blog, and I’ll be telling you guys all about the aspect of Samford that sets it apart from so many other universities—the campus’ thriving spiritual life. Being a private Baptist university, Samford has the great privilege of providing its students numerous opportunities to grow in their Christian faith. Just one great example of these opportunities is Campus Worship, a special time set aside each Tuesday and Thursday morning from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. A worship band plays a set for the congregation, and every “convo” has a special guest that comes to speak to everyone there.  At night, groups like RUF, a student led worship service, Reign, a service specifically directed towards music, and Campus Outreach, a campus led worship service, give students even more ways to find a group of people to grow with. For me personally, all of these opportunities are perfect ways for me to take a break from all the craziness of college life, reflect and find my peace in God. Sometimes, I struggle with spending time with God with my busy schedule, and these events are a great time to do just that! There are even more opportunities to get involved with spiritual life that you can learn more about here:  https://www.samford.edu/spiritual-life

What truly makes Samford so unique is what takes place outside of those set-aside worship times. Even in the classroom, I’ve been able to experience what Samford has to offer for my faith. Some days in class, we’ll begin with a short prayer. How cool is that? This simple act shows me how much Samford cares about its Christian roots, and that’s something that you won’t be able to find at many other universities. Samford gives its students opportunities to grow spiritually, and it’s located in the perfect city for students who want to find a church home! Birmingham offers hundreds of different churches for college students. From mega churches that have different campuses across the city to smaller community churches, there’s a church for everyone here! If you come and visit Samford for Preview Day, say hi to me and the other bloggers. If you see any of us, we’d love to talk to you! However, even more importantly, I highly recommend staying until Sunday to visit one of the many wonderful churches in Birmingham. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did. 

Family Weekend

MICHAL GRAVES

Hey guys and gals! It’s your girl Michal and I am ecstatic to be able to show you my Samford story as you begin to form your own. I am from Prairieville, Louisiana, which is about 20 minutes from Baton Rouge and a whopping six- hour drive from Samford. So, as you can imagine family visits are few and far between. Therefore, I was looking forward to Family Weekend more than anything!

This past weekend, on October 1, was Family Weekend! This weekend is tailored to showing families the intricacies of Samford while giving your family a multitude of ways to get involved with the university. My mom, Aimee and great-aunt, Linda took the hike down to B-Ham. I was so happy to see them. It had been over a month because I moved in early for cheerleading early and I hadn’t seen them since. Sammy U did a great job of hosting events for parents and families such as a prayer walk, state themed parties, a tailgate and multiple classes and seminars. My mom attended the prayer walk and she absolutely loved it. She felt that being able to pray over a place where I am learning and growing in Christ with so many other parents at Samford who are going through the same thing, made her feel at peace. My mom and aunt attended the tailgate where they also had a blast. The variety of tents allowed them to not only experience good eats but great fellowship with the Samford community. My mom has already made many friends with other Samford parents and is beginning to plan her own tailgate with her new pals.

But I think what astounded me the most was that the Samford was just as welcoming to my mom as they were to me. They immediately gave them shirts upon arrival and were very friendly and personable with my family from the start. They treated my mom and aunt as if they were a part of the Samford family as well. Honestly, that’s the beauty of Samford. Every day I walk around campus and don’t meet a stranger. Every day I find more people who have similar interests. Every day I make connections and friendships that will last a lifetime. Family Weekend is a time where your two families get the chance to collide and become one. 

Welcome to Samford

RYAN BURZUMATO

It is such a surreal feeling to sit here in the library as I write to you guys. I have dreamt of going to Samford University since I participated in the Animate Worship and Arts Camp the summer after my sophomore year. My love for this school and my experience completely changed my outlook on college during those four days at camp. Throughout my junior year, I read the Freshman Blog and became infatuated with the thought of attending Samford. I went to Junior Preview Day and took my family to see the place I wanted to call home, and they instantly fell in love with it as well. The application opened on August 1st, and I submitted my application on August 3rd. I eventually got my acceptance letter and freaked out! I ran around my house like a 5-year-old on Christmas morning. I had been accepted to my dream school!

 Eight months later, I was finally on campus to stay. I walked around on the brink of tears as I took in my surroundings. I moved in early due to Band Camp, so I unfortunately didn’t get to experience the Connections leaders and football players help move me in.  However, I saw it take place and it was incredible! Seeing current students welcome my fellow classmates to their new home and carry their belongings to their dorm was another reminder of what an amazing place Samford is.

After Move In Day, the fun begins… CONNECTIONS Weekend! Connections takes place for the first three days you are on campus as a freshman. Each day is full of various activities that are extremely fun. On the first night I was assigned to my group, we went with our Connections leader to a restaurant in Birmingham, and then we ended up at a carnival in Railroad Park. The next day we had “Pops with the President”, one of the best parts of Connections; we got to go to the president’s house and eat a delicious popsicle from Steel City Pops! I then capped off the night at the Neon Dance Party, which was a blast. The last day is packed full of activities: from campus worship, to finding where your classes are, the game of Life and the “Your School, Your City” concert, I had so many opportunities to meet my classmates and, as cheesy as it sounds, make “connections.”

After the excitement from Connections dwindled down, the anxiety set in when I thought about classes starting the next morning. As I took a seat in my first class, I had no clue what to expect. Was my teacher going to be bad? Was the class going to be hard? As soon as my professor walked in, I had an instant feeling of relief. She made it very clear that she was here to help me succeed in the class, and all I had to do was ask for help. The small classes and the amazing professors ensured I felt like a student instead of just another number.

If you have read this far, I am glad you did. I am so happy that you are interested in Samford enough to read the Freshman Blog. Throughout this whole year I hope you use the blog as a way to see what life at Samford is like. I know how stressful the application process can be and I promise you it is going to be okay. The other bloggers and I got through it and so can you. Stay true to yourself as you complete your applications and go on the college search. I hope that the first few weeks of school have gone well for you, and I hope that you choose Samford!

Bow wow Bulldogs and bow wow bloggers!

Life is a Journey

LIV RIVERA 

Up until this year, I was under the impression that adulthood was just an automatic transformation a person makes once they leave the nest and go to college. I also thought that the farther I flew, the quicker the transition would occur. Even 2024 miles away from home, I am no closer to being an adult than I was my senior year of high school. I am, however, more adept in understanding the traits of responsibility, accountability, and forgiveness that come with maturity.

At first, I was worried when I realized that adulthood was not just achieved automatically, but being at Samford has pushed me to grow in many ways. Here, I have learned how to be responsible. I have learned when to say, "no, I need to study" and when to say, "let's try something new". Samford's balance of academics and activities encouraged me to better develop my time management skills so that I could do the things I desired to while maintaining good grades. In addition to responsibility, being at Samford had taught me how to hold myself accountable. In college, you do not have your parents to encourage you to stay motivated or to get you back on track if you begin to slack off. So, I learned how to have more self discipline because mistakes are not made without consequences, even when your parents aren't the ones delivering those consequences anymore. However, Samford's caring and nurturing environment allowed me to make mistakes and actually  learn from them. I learned that it is okay to make mistakes and that there is always room for improvement, but most importantly, that improvement is in fact attainable with hard work and determination.

Finally, this first year at Samford has taught me forgiveness. It has taught me to forgive myself for my mistakes and to forgive others for theirs. Overall, my first year at Samford has taught me how to be more mature. I am still learning how to be an adult and I am by no means near adulthood, but I am one step closer. So, to next year's class I leave three pearls of advice: do not expect to know everything right away because knowledge is only gained through experience, it is ok to make mistakes so long as you learn and grow from them, and it is important to be a kid and forgive yourself for your shortcomings because as Ralph Waldo Emerson said long ago, "life is a journey, not a destination", you'll figure it all out in time. 

Boredom is a Choice

PEYTON WELCH

          Samford has given me experiences and emotions of all sorts. Since I began my freshman year this past fall, I’ve felt it all: happiness, sadness, stress, excitement, frustration, anxiety, incredible joy, courage, worry, satisfaction, and the list goes on and on. However, there is one thing that I have yet to feel since I’ve made Samford my home. That one thing is boredom.

            I can’t even count the number of times people have told me they wanted to attend a huge state school because many private schools were too small. “If there’s not a bazillion trillion thousand people there, there’s not enough people”, they say. “I’m sure there is absolutely nothing to do”, they say. Oh, if only the myths of misguidance that cripple our generation would vanish…

            “They” say a lot of things. Don’t listen to “they.” They’ve never been to a school like Samford, so I am positively sure “they” wouldn’t know. Listen to me. You know I’ll give you my honest opinion. Trust me, I’m not getting paid for this. I wouldn’t spend all this time writing to you about how great Samford is if I didn’t truly believe every word I said.

So what exactly is there to do on campus? I don’t even know where to begin.

I’ll start off by saying that for your freshman year you will live in a building with a few hundred other students in the same situation as you. You’ll develop friendships with the people on your hall. It’s like having all your best friends live within three hundred feet of each other. At any given time, on any given day, during any given weather, in any given dorm, on any given floor, there will always be people looking for adventure. All you need to do is find them and go together.

As if that’s not enough, Samford prides itself on having a remarkable amount of on-campus activities. Many students’ biggest struggle is actually being too involved. As soon as you go through the gates, potential involvement hits you from every direction.

You will have the option to rush and possibly be in a sorority/fraternity that provides you with a number of awesome things to do and great people to do them with. Intramurals are happening year round. Just about any sport you can name has a home in campus recreation. If you are the relaxed, hipster type, bring your hammock to Eno Village and enjoy a beautiful day while you read a good book or catch up on some homework. If you are the sporty, athletic type, the basketball gyms and weight rooms stay open until midnight on weekdays and are free to all Samford students.

Samford is a very social place. Ben Brown Plaza will always present opportunites to chat (or goof off, if you’re like me) with your best friends and often meet new ones. Then, if you take just a couple steps over, you’ll reach the quad. This is the perfect place to throw the frisbee, have a picnic, get caught up in a mean game of quad golf, or do whatever else your heart desires. In addition, the multiple different ministries offer a great avenue to grow into a vibrant faith under the care of super-loving-awesome-relatable-funny-awesome-honest-wise mentors. Those folks are awesome. The list of activities goes on and on. I haven’t even mentioned the endless possibilities that the city of Birmingham offers.

Statistics say that we only remember 10% of what we read. This a little depressing, considering that most of what I’ve written will go to the dark, abyssal corners of your mind never to be thought of again. But, if I can tell you which 10% you should remember, it would be this last little bit.

If you’re afraid of Samford’s relatively small (but still not that small) size, don’t be. If you look forward to Samford’s close community, go talk to the kids who aren’t. Tell them I said there is no reason to worry. Tell them this school has more things to do than you could shake a stick at (and apologize if that doesn’t make sense). But most importantly, tell them this: Boredom is a choice. If you choose to make the most of your Samford Story, there will hardly be a dull moment.

 

p.s. – For whatever reason, if you find yourself with absolutely no options, come find me. Although it may result in you losing a friendly game of quad golf, we’ll have ourselves a darn good time.  

Encouragement to the Tired Student

TAYLOR GLOW

Sometimes starting a task is much easier than finishing one. When you start something, you have great intentions for the task at hand and plan to finish it with flying colors. However, over time the task begins to be put second on the list of things to do and continually keeps falling behind. Before you know it, it is completely forgotten about and you have moved onto something else. 

At college, an entire semester can seem forever long. So many things can change over a span of 3 months. I know for myself, I start off with the best of intentions. I promise myself (and my parents) my grades will be even better than last semester, I will be more intentional with the friendships that I have, I will try new things, etc. I always start off very strong. I stay on top of my homework and study for tests a week or two in advance. I sign up for ample amounts of groups with the best of intentions to be involved with all of them. As the semester goes on, I begin to prioritize what is most important and end up leaving behind the "less important things". Getting up for my 8 a.m. continues to get harder and harder every morning. The weight of late nights, early mornings and lots of responsibilities begin to take their toll. It is in those late nights and early mornings that I want to do things halfway or just give up. 

This is my advice, when things get hard and seem like too much to handle or you just get tired of doing them, that is when you need to push through. As high school students and college students, we are at that part in the semester where all we can see is summer. We are tired and don't want to type yet another essay or study for another test. But it will be worth it. High school student, you are looking to college. College student, you are looking to your future. Enjoy the times you are in now even though they may get tedious and tiring. Strive for excellence in all things and never do things halfway. We are almost to the end, and once we finish it will be so worth it! 

Samford Spring

MITCHELL MCEVER

After a seven week stretch of classes, I was very ready to be reunited with my family for a week on Spring Break. Having time to set aside schoolwork and go back home to spend time with my family was much needed. However, about halfway through spring break I had already begun to miss Samford and all of my friends I had made there.

I was very surprised by this feeling. After all, time off from school is always a good thing, right? If you had told my high school-self that there would be a time when I was actually ready to return to school before I was absolutely forced to, I would've thought you were insane.

I think that speaks a lot about the culture at Samford. It has a unique environment that forms such close community between students that it makes students anticipate their return to school, rather than dread it. Even the return from all the adventures of spring break are welcomed because it provides the opportunity for reunion for students with their Samford family.

Not to mention, Samford in the spring is one of the most beautiful places in the world. The quad is full of life with current students, tours of prospective students, and events in Ben Brown. The dogwood trees in front of Vail shower the freshmen students with their white petals, creating what almost looks like a spring snowstorm.

Samford is one of the most unique communities I am blessed to be a part of. I am so grateful for the opportunity to attend this school and be a member of the student body. The friends I have made during my time this year are surely life-long, and I look forward to years of friendship with each of them. Today, as I look outside at the beauty of this campus and reflect upon my first year here, there is no place I'd rather be.